ProFood World will honor winners of the fifth annual Manufacturing Innovation Awards at PACK EXPO Las Vegas in Sept. 2021. These awards recognize outstanding food and beverage processing and packaging innovation projects involving greenfield plants, expansion and renovation projects, or line upgrades. This year’s winners include MWC, LLC, Kraft Heinz, and CTI Foods, LLC.
MWC, LLC will be recognized for its new, 400,000 sq.-ft. state of the art facility in St. Johns, Michigan, which processes 25 percent of the state’s milk production. Each day, the facility processes eight million pounds of raw milk into cheese and whey at an hourly rate of 850,000 pounds of cheese and 11,000 pounds of whey protein concentrates and isolates. Whey permeate left from the concentrate process is sent via a piping bridge to a neighboring plant that houses North America’s largest permeate spray dryer.
Also honored is Kraft Heinz for a project involving its iconic macaroni and cheese product. Kraft Heinz expanded and modernized its Wausau, Wisconsin, facility to meet the needs of a recent formulation improvement. The new recipe delivers a creamier customer experience but required building upgrades, new liquid and powder handling systems, and a complex clean-in-place system to achieve production needs. In addition, the project resulted in improved employee safety and ergonomics and provided a production increase of more than 40 percent.
CTI Foods, LLC serves the restaurant and industrial ingredients industry with proteins, soups, sauces, and dressings. In order to automate its labor-intensive filled taco line, special end of arm tooling was designed to perform dual picks of the tacos and orientate them into trays. The upgrade tremendously improved the production rate to 960 tacos per minute across four packaging cells. Other improvements to the integrated system include robotic controls, pick and place delta robots, in-feed conveyor, tray erector, vision system, tray wrapper, checkweigher, inspection and more.
“We look forward to hosting this year’s award winners at PACK EXPO Las Vegas to share their experience bringing these innovation projects to life,” said Joyce Fassl, Editor in Chief of ProFood World. “Their success stories inspire our community of food and beverage manufacturing professionals to envision the future of food processing and packaging innovation.”
ProFood World Publisher, Patrick Young added, “We’re excited for the return of The Processing Zone at PACK EXPO Las Vegas to support the food and beverage manufacturing community with opportunities to network and discover new solutions to help increase efficiency, achieve total system integration, and ensure safety.”
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